Exceeded expectations. Good rolling speed, loads of confidence, versatile and good price
At £38 for twin compound, All-Mountain casing, MSC Gripper Pro, the pricing is competitive. There’s also slurpier-edged triple compound model for £10 more.
Most twin compound tyres have firmer durometer rubber than the 56a rolling tread and 50a shoulders here. These numbers are reflected by knobs that are easy to deform and slow rebounding in the old thumb ‘squeeze’ test. Central blocks alternate between ramped and siped, and then scored cubes, and the shoulder knobs are nicely angled with enough stability not to ‘wobble’ at hard lean angles.
This Gripper uses a reinforced sidewall protection layer called Pro Shield, and blows up big (closer to 2.5in than 2.3in on a wider 30mm hookless carbon rim it’s aimed at). The casing has a relatively coarse 60 threads per inch fabric that should resist cutting and puncture holes better than a finer weave.
The tyre’s solid performance translates onto slimy roots and clay too, where the Gripper pretty surefooted in the wet for a twin compound tyre that rolls this decently.
One area the tread can’t compete with some is the offset shoulder blocks are less toothy and aggressive, so there’s less bite and hold in sloppy loam and wet soils when really leaning hard in corners. Weirdly, the MSC holds on to clag and mud a bit more than most on test, despite the relatively spaced out tread too.
MSC has exceeded our expectations – it’s nailed the compound and casing and there’s good rolling speed and loads of confidence. The Gripper wouldn’t be our first choice if trails are really loose and muddy, but it’s versatile elsewhere, and the price is excellent value too.